“He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ …
He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
(Luke 19:12-13, 26 NIV)
1. The Parable is about Stewardship
Definition of “Steward”: One who is responsible or manages the property of another.
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.”
Matthew 25:14 - Parable of the Talents, which is another stewardship parable.
The story is about a king who gives ten servants a mina each. His one command to the ten men was ‘Put this money to work, until I come back.’ The value of a mina: A mina was about 3 months wages.
This parable is about God giving us resources to steward. Stewardship is not about protecting the resource given to us but rather actively putting it to work and multiplying it. We are co-partners with God and we all have something to bring with the resources he has blessed us with. Whatever God gives us we are not meant to hide it away in a safe place. We need to diligently invest it with faith and wisdom.
2. Recognition and Reward
After a period of time the king returns to see what each has gained with their mina.
The king was delighted with the first and second person. His response was “‘Well done, my good servant!” The King rewarded them with ten and five cities, respectively. He didn’t reward them with more money but cities. He rewarded them with influence and authority. Similarly, God will take what we’ve been faithful with and reward us with something beyond our gift or talent.
Whereas, the king was angry that the third person made no money and was aghast that the servant didn’t even put the money in the bank so it could have earned interest.
When we fail to value something the Lord has blessed us with, we lose interest in it and the resource/gift goes away.
Question: Why didn’t this third man invest the mina?
Answer: Fear, “I was afraid…” (Luke 19:21)
What inhibits us from investing our talents?
Some possible causes include:
- We do not understand the nature of God;
- It’s important we believe in God’s nature – he is faithful and powerful and loving. Psalm 136 it says 24 times about God ‘His love endures forever.’
- The man lacked faith. Yes, there is risk in investing, however, we need to trust God that he has bestowed a gift to us to be used for His glory.
- Laziness can also be a factor in us not using our gifts. (Proverbs 10:4 NIV: "Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth."
Stewardship of our God-given assets - time, gifts, abilities and finances – will be noticed and rewarded. Faithfulness in stewardship leads to fruitfulness. Stewarding well the little provided by God, will result in being blessed with more.
(Luke 16:10-11 NIV “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?")
When God entrusts money, gifts, people or power into our hands, He calls us to wisely steward the responsibility. When we do so, we are deemed faithful and are duly rewarded … often with greater levels of responsibility.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT:
1. Share examples within the group of when you’ve experienced wise stewardship of a gift resulting in both fruitfulness and greater reward.
2. Which of the impediments listed above have impacted you the most when utilising one of your gifts?
3. What’s a next step you could take to be more faithful in using one of your gifts to enhance your fruitfulness?
eg volunteering to serve, attending Night College, etc
4. Spend some time encouraging each other on the different ways each of you could further use one of your gifts to help others and to bring glory to the Lord.